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Poster: bluedevil Date: Dec 27, 2006 2:51pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: That would be something


Very few, if any, people on the Grateful Dead Tour would admit to believing that they thought Jerry Garcia was God, but the widespread belief that the Deadheads were a personality cult who worshipped Garcia persisted. This was most evident in the rumors and mystery surrounding The Spinners (more formally, The Family of Unlimited Devotion). The Spinners were a communal group of young people in peasant dresses and other austere clothing who would twirl in the hallways of Deadshows and were often seen prostrate on the floor of the venues after Garcia would finish songs.

When asked about the Spinners, Garcia replied, "They're kind of like our Sufis. I think it's really great that there's a place where they can be comfortable enough to do something with such abandon. It's nice to provide that. That's one of the things I'm proud of the Grateful Dead for. It's like free turf."12.

When asked how he felt about the Jerry is God phenomena, Garcia responded with characteristic humor, "Anybody who thinks I'm God should talk to my kids." Did he mind being the focal point of a religious group? "Well, I'll put up with it until they come for me with the cross and the nails."13.

Caroline Rago, formerly a core member of the Family of Unlimited Devotion, said that the idea that they believed Jerry was God was a misconception. In the Spinner cosmology, she likened him more to an avatar -- describing a role similar in many respects to the one attributed to Bob Marley by Rastafarians. "He was the cosmic minstrel who provided the channel," she said.14.

Well into his eighties, the prominent mythologist Joseph Campbell discovered the Grateful Dead. Not usually a fan of rock 'n' roll, Campbell's interest was piqued by the Dead's myth making capacity. After attending a concert and seeing the audiences interest and enthusiasm, he claimed that they were "the antidote to the atom bomb."15.


Some folks trust to reason
Others trust to might
I don't trust to nothing
But I know it come out right

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Poster: ducats Date: Dec 27, 2006 3:20pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: That would be something

that's amazing - does the Family still exist? I think you are stretching it a little to the detriment of the original questioner? I mean there were spinners at the beginning - look at a video from the early days. I remember having some religious cults try to recruit me in lots after shows - but I thought they were the Hari ... from Utah. To me the spinners being referred to is just the people that "spinned" constantly while dancing? I would love to hear from somebody that was actually part of something they believe/ed was a religious experience entwined with the boys. If it existed somebody should be lurking on this site - no? I'm going to check out that other link.

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Poster: rabbseye Date: Sep 13, 2010 7:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: That would be something

eye went to guilford high school in ct.
met doug who introduced me to tim in 1981.
years later eye traveled to california and saw my 1st west coast shows and doug introduced me to unlimited devotion.
thus recalling my guilford high school faces whom eye had known a little in 81.
joined up with them and really adapted the spinning methods to the experiences eye was having then.
they lived in a beautiful way when eye went back to northern california with them in philo.
amazing experience eye am still greatly inspired in the spinning techniques, anyone interested in hearing more on this contact me'
very interesting time in my travels am very grateful for douger introducing mee to the tribe ty

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Poster: BryanE Date: Dec 27, 2006 2:55pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: That would be something

after Jerry died, Barlow referred to him as an avatar, too. However you saw that, or the whole scene in general, the man had something that separated him from the pack. I never saw him as a God, by any means-I mean, gimme a break, fer cryin' in a bucket-but I did get swept up in that powerful presence he had. I was alone in that regard, though, wasn't I?

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Dec 27, 2006 2:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: That would be something

Thank you very much for that, bluedevil. I appreciate you taking the time to give such an interesting response.

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